Captain Vrinko Dash sat on his throne before the battle. Levith standing by his side.
He thought back on how he got here, on the path he has taken, and not for the first time wondered if he had chosen the right course.
After the battle for the Eye there was a period where he almost lost himself. Wild celebrations, drunken debauchery, he had more money than he could spend and he was being treated as a hero.
But things soon got tired. Gambling was pointless, as he had all he wanted. The parties and drinks became boring and empty. He was used to living on the edge. Fighting for his life and the lives of his crewmate and friends.
Faces that were no longer on the Eye.
Not only had Tyr and Manco disappeared, but Talia and Org and Arena Tana never made their way back to the Eye. Only Ari remained.
What was the point, for the sacrifice, for the hardship? He had everything he’d ever wanted, his own ship and far more wealth than he could have imagined. Yet he had nothing, except the voice of Leveth whispering to him to do what she wanted and the image of the face of the Witch, covered in blood.
He was angry. He felt lost, not knowing what to do. He had a desire for action, but for no reason.
His life was chaos.
It was Ari that saved him, who showed him a way forward. Ari that reminded him of the path he once followed.
They had been seeing each other for tea regularly, Vrinko knew somehow that it was his last hope, his last link to the people around him. He watched the way Ari lived his life. He was at peace with himself and those around him. He seemed happy with Madame Korash and his place on the Eye. Vrinko felt sad, lonely and jealous.
It was just an off the cuff comment, as they were taking leave of each other one day. Ari just mentioned a line he’d heard Vrinko say once.
‘There is no emotion, There is peace’
Vrinko wanted that peace again.
He cut himself off from the rest of the world entirely. Oh he still had the crew of the Leviathan standing ready, he’d also hired some people to manage his money. But he needed some time to think, to study and re-learn what he had lost.
It didn’t take long studying his holocron for Vrinko to get a sense of what had happened. Of how he had lost his way and how close he had come to losing himself to the dark side. Levith tried to find out what he was doing and he put her off by saying he was trying to get more powerful for the next step in his plan, which wasn’t entirely untrue.
He could now sense the darkness within her and that part of it was within him too. He had released her from the prison of the crystal and allowed her into his thoughts. He had killed to make this happen. It was now his responsibility to be her jail and jailer. To keep her in check and make sure no more harm comes from her release. He must control her.
To this end he trained. Trained harder and more focused than he had ever done before. He studied the Holocron over countless nights. He also asked Ari to start teaching him some martial arts to help focus his mind and body. He needed more control over his emotions, more knowledge of what he faced and more harmony within himself. He needed to be stronger than Levith.
Yet he could use her and through her help atone for what he had done.
He started to spend some of his money.
He bought more ships.
He had seen what a fully upgraded transport could achieve and worked towards acquiring several for himself. He also started purchasing fighters, all with hyperdrive capabilities, until his fleet filled the hangers of the Leviathan.
He hired people on the Eye. From all levels, across many professions, that would keep a lookout on the comings and goings. He knew that once he started he needed a safe haven, and a safe, prosperous Eye meant more funds to support his endeavours.
He made sure that any presence of organised crime, especially anything smelling remotely like the Grell would be reported straight away to Kanner Ziracch, who was still climbing the ranks of Isec.
Any imperial agents also found themselves shipped of station, or locked in the brig as soon as they stepped foot on the Eye.
He lobbied for any Hive dwellers to be allowed back on the station, and spent some of his money providing them with adequate facilities down below. Indeed some of his best agents were former Hive dwellers and he gave them a way out of poverty.
He spread his agents to the nearby systems, creating a net of informants in the new part of the galaxy that the Eye now occupied.
These Night Watchers provided all he needed to act.
And act he did.
Wherever peace was threatened.
Where those who needed help, but no one heard their cries.
Where lives were at risk from those who had power.
Whether it be at the hands of the Empire, the Hutts, governments or tyrants. He would come and protect the weak.
He renamed his ship to Night’s Aegis. His crew all wore black uniforms with an orange shield on their breast.
He tried to make them a shield for the weak, upholding the Jedi code of old. To bring peace to this small corner of the outer rim.
To make amends for what he had done.
When he first returned to his ship to oversee the changes he almost died. It did not take Leveth long to ferret out the truth, that Vrinko was turning away from her, from what she offered. She lashed out and drew his consciousness back into the crystal. They clashed wills over what seemed like days, or weeks. But all the hard work, all the training paid off. Vrinko was much stronger now, had more control, more peace, more purpose. He knew he couldn’t kill Leveth, so he imprisoned her in her own crystal. Although she could still manifest around the ship and talk to him, she no longer had any control over any of the ships systems.
She haunted him every moment he was on board the Aegis, that was his burden to suffer and kept his resolve strong.
Slowly he and his fleet started work. Hitting small targets at first, the Aegis visited justice and peace on all the outlying systems, where even the Empire had no presence. Destroying pirates, freeing slaves, they only killed when forced.
As they grew more accomplished they started taking on larger groups, and continued to upgrade their ships (Manco would have been proud) with the money that kept coming in as the Eye grew more and more prosperous.
But he knew it would not last forever. The money would only come in as long as he was alive, so he started investing a portion of it in trade ships and businesses, to keep funding the Aegis once he was gone.
And he needed to find a successor to keep Levith in check. He could tell she was waiting, waiting until he was dead, she had waited countless years, she could wait some more. So Vrinko kept an eye out for anyone who was Force sensitive, who could take over for him. But just in case he had placed numerous explosives around the ship that would detonate after he had died. One way or another he would keep Levith in check.
He turned his mind back to the battle.
The Aegis was almost invisible to the ships ahead of them. Her reflective hull and sensor blockers were as effective as ever. He saw the rebel ships engaging the Star Destroyer, they had been out manoeuvred and forced to fight a battle they couldn’t win. They were holding their own for now, and inflicting some damage, however they were taking a toll. Luckily for them Vrinko had been keeping track of this particular ISD. The Endgame filled the view screen as the Aegis came up behind her.
He broadcast a message to the bridge and the crews on his ships.
‘We have a job to finish here my friends. Though this time we have come more prepared. For the Eye and those we lost.’
The Aegis had quite a few weapon upgrades since the last time they met. And her docking bays were full to bursting.
From his throne he sent out the orders.
‘Launch fighters and open fire’